Council Member Andrew Johnson blasts MPD for laissez faire response to north Mpls drive-by

First-term City Council Member Andrew Johnson took to Facebook to blast the Minneapolis Police Department for what he regards as an inadequate response to a drive-by shooting.

Johnson says he was doing some volunteer work in north Minneapolis Saturday afternoon when shots rang out a short distance away. He was surprised by how long it took for police officers to get there and how casually they behaved once they arrived, but the MPD says Johnson exaggerated the facts of the matter.

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First, here's Johnson's Facebook post, which was accompanied by the above photo of a bullet casing on the ground:

Was in North Minneapolis helping build some affordable housing today. Wasn't even there an hour and a drive by shooting happened a few homes down.

MPD arrived maybe 6-8 minutes later. No lights flashing. Squad driving slow. The officer who showed up chatted with some witnesses, then I asked why he was the only one there and why there didn't seem to be a strong sense of urgency. He said "well, there were no victims." Excuse me? Tell that to the grandma whose grandchildren had to "hit the floor", little 3 and 4 year olds. Tell that to the man who was shot at. The neighbors in the crossfire.

When someone entered my backyard late at night, three squad cars arrive within 45 seconds, circling the surrounding blocks looking for suspects who may have intended to steal. They had an incredible sense of urgency. I felt great about the police response over here on the Southside. Can't say the same about the response to bullets flying around children and families on the Northside.

We have so much work to do.

After reading that, we contacted the MPD to get law enforcement's take on the incident. The response the department sent us indicates officers' response time was twice as fast as Johnson says it was.

From the MPD:

The Minneapolis Police Department takes calls for service, and reports of crime very seriously in every area of the City.

The call was dispatched to our squads at 12:42 pm, and the first squad arrived at 12:45 pm. There was a second squad in the area within a few minutes.

We look forward to continuing our work with all of our stakeholders within the City as we move forward in assuring that Minneapolis is a safe city.

In unrelated news, Johnson's proposal to ban Styrofoam containers in Minneapolis was approved yesterday by the council's health and environment committee, meaning it now advances to the full City Council.

We're talking today with the council member who represents most of north Minneapolis, Barb Johnson, to get her perspective on whether there's an issue with how officers respond to north Minneapolis crime. Look for an update with her remarks later today (read it here).

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]